Marked Difference

The Marked Difference In Presidential Post-Election Behavior And Why It Matters


Leonard Zwelling

A couple of my conservative readers are arguing that President Trump is well within his rights to protest the election results, ask for recounts, and not concede. After all, the post election period without a concession in 2000 was almost 5 weeks in length and that one had to go all the way to the Supreme Court to settle. By contrast, the very close election of just four years ago ended the morning after with a concession by Hillary Clinton, but four years of additional resentment that led all the way to an impeachment that everyone knew was a foolish waste of the Congress’ time. You can understand why Republicans this time want to be absolutely sure that their guy lost.

Here’s why this is all nonsense.

Most critically, even though Donald Trump lost the popular vote by around 6 million ballots and Joe Biden’s electoral margin was identical to Trump’s in 2016, the GOP did great around the country. It’s not like it was a Democratic landslide in the Congress, Senate or state houses. On the contrary, the GOP surpassed the predictions of many pundits with regard to how it would fare in the national and state-based legislatures. The GOP policy message was not rejected by the voters. Trump was. How could there be an error in the presidential counts, but not in the down ballot races? That’s just silly. America rejected Trump and endorsed the GOP message against defunding the police, Medicare for All, and the so-called socialist agenda embodied by AOC and The Squad. Republicans won this election and did so despite their losses two years earlier. Trump lost. Everyone, get over it.

And, on top of that, where 2000 came down to one state (Florida), 2020 was determined by six states that all went for Biden and did so by between 12,000 and 150,000 votes. This election was really not that close and nowhere near 2000. There is no comparison. Trump is just a sore loser.

Donald Trump is doing damage to the basic tenets of democracy by insisting he won the election. He did not. There was no widespread fraud. Even Bill Barr agrees with this. The mail-in balloting worked fine. Mr. Trump needs to do the following:


Help the new administration during the transition.

Attend the inauguration just as all of his past defeated presidents have done.

Stop whining.

And to my conservative readers who justify this behavior in the Leader of the Free World, what the heck is wrong with you? This is a time for humility and reflection on all sides and an opportunity for Mr. Biden to try to bring a divided country together despite Q anon, and antifa. These are divisive forces that do not serve our democracy well and whose followers have increased during the Trump years. This is not good for any of us.

America has had enough division for the next one hundred years. Despite what my conservative friends think, Mr. Trump’s demeanor (not his policies) and his aggressive and martial language served the United States poorly even as it served the 401Ks of my conservative friends well. It is time to put your childish selfishness aside. If you don’t like the rise of the left within the Democratic Party, find a suitable opponent on the GOP side who is neither divisive nor dogmatic, but rather returns us to the energy of youth and the values of our Founders. Find that guy or gal and I’ll vote for him or her.

Trump is an aberration. Could his transition not be anything but? No. It’s always about Donald. Except it’s not any more. It’s about America. You watch! The Biden team will improve things beyond the Dow Jones Industrial Average. America is back.

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